I cherish our years together

Guest Column by Alexis Roy

(Editor’s note: Alexis Roy of Sauk Rapids has just retired after 20 years as an officer for the Sartell Police Department. She submitted the following as a letter to editor, but the Newsleader editor decided to publish it as a guest column. For more about Roy, see a feature story about her in today’s paper.)

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Public beach on Kraemer Lake is a mistake

Alicia Schulzetenberge
Brittany Poepping

St. Cloud State University

As aspiring field ecologists, my colleague and I have a heightened interest in how community developments affect our surrounding ecosystems. It has recently been proposed a public beach be added to Kraemer Lake in St. Joseph. Our concerns regarding this announcement are primarily based on the implications it will have for current wildlife. Constructing a beach requires clearing shoreline vegetation important for fish spawning, feeding and nesting. Altering fish populations would in turn affect many people, such as members of the St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club, who own an access at the east side of the lake and have been stocking walleye there since 1999.
Another concern with this development is the effect it will have on the neighboring forest. The forest around Kraemer Lake is one of the last intact and healthy forests in the area. Altering the structure of this forest will have effects on current animal and plant species that reside there. In addition, the influx of people drawn to the beach will accelerate this changing dynamic of the forest.
In conclusion, we believe putting a public beach on Kraemer Lake will entail more negative effects than positive ones. Development of natural areas is essentially irreversible, so it’s important to stop development before any lasting changes to the habitat occur.

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John Anderson sits on his bike with the food he collected for local food shelves.

SFX Kindergartener collects food for hungry – forgets to tell mom

John Anderson is a sweet boy with a good heart, and a solid rebellious streak.
In October, John participated in a prayer service about World Hunger Day. It was prepared by the students at St. Francis Xavier School in Sartell, where he is a kindergartener. John was inspired to help the hungry. He was so inspired and determined to ask his neighbors to help, he forgot to ask his mom if he could go outside.

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Roy’s police work was ‘a really good ride’

The best thing about Alexis Roy’s 20 years of service as a Sartell police officer was the town and its people.

“It’s a good town,” she said. “A really good town with really good citizens.”
The most frustrating aspect of police work, she said, was dealing with “people who don’t want help but need it.”
The first woman hired by the department, Roy has just retired. There are now four women on the force.
When she first started her job on Nov. 1, 1992, Roy had no idea she would spend two decades as one of Sartell’s finest.
“I never, ever thought I was going to stay this long,” she said. “It was a good ride, and I had a really, really good time. I worked with incredible people, here and within other agencies.”
When former Sartell Police Chief Bob Ringstrom and the city council hired her, she was one of only five officers in the department. Now, there are 17 full-time officers, eight reserve officers and a dispatcher.
Even before she was hired, Roy worked for a time at the police station as a volunteer to help computerize its records system. Since then, Roy has clocked untold thousands of miles in her patrol car, dealing with virtually every duty an officer encounters: helping people in crises, arresting drunken drivers, helping at the scenes of fires and accidents, assisting at countless medical emergencies, helping educate the public about safety issues and even – in at least two cases – saving lives. She was honored twice with the department’s Lifesaving Award for saving the lives of two individuals who were on the point of flinging themselves off of bridges to their deaths.
Although Roy retired from police work, she won’t be idle for long. She has taken a part-time job for Northern Pines Mental Health Clinic, based in Brainerd and Little Falls. She will work as part of a team that will help mentally ill adults through the rehabilitation and adaptive process. She is looking forward to her new work, confident she can put to good use many of the networking and people skills she’s acquired through police work in her new endeavors.
Born in Orlando, Fla., Roy is the daughter of a man who worked for the U.S. Defense Department. Because of that, she and her family lived in many places throughout the nation, having to move where her father’s job took him. Later, Roy joined the U.S. Army and was stationed at the port of Bremerhaven, Germany, where she was a tractor trailer driver.
She lived in Michigan and California where she married a man named Rick Stanbaugh, whom she met while working for the Veterans’ Administration Hospital system. Stanbaugh, originally from Minnesota, eventually became the chief pharmacist for the VA in St. Cloud in 1988, and that is how Roy moved to this area. The couple, divorced, has twin daughters. One of them, Morgan Miller, lives in Chaska, with her husband, Mike, who is a police officer in Hopkins. The other daughter, Lindsay Stanbaugh, is a dispatcher for the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department, and she is currently dating a jailor for the Dakota County Sheriff’s Department.
Roy earned a bachelor’s degree in elective studies (data processing) and then a master’s degree in criminal justice studies from St. Cloud State University. She also completed a skills course at Alexandria Technical College just before serving with the Sartell Police Department.
Roy and her husband, Tom Roy, live in Sauk Rapids, right by the Sartell city borderline. Roy is a sergeant on the Sauk Rapids Police Department. He has two sons, Duncan, who is a chef at G. Allen’s in Sartell; and Wesley, who works at an optical-lens plant in St. Cloud.
The Roys are now “empty nesters,” but they are by no means housebound. They love to travel in the United States and Canada, often on their motorcycles. They enjoy their two boxer dogs, and they have four “grandpuppies” as Alexis’s twin daughters have two dogs each – Boston terriers and chocolate labs.
Roy’s safety advice to Sartell residents is “to watch out for each other” and “if you have locks, use them, as locks tend to keep people honest.”
For more about Roy, see her guest column on the Opinion Page in today’s paper.

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The Medelberg family volunteered at the home of Jim and Mary Ann Graeve. Pictured left to right are Abbey Medelberg, Kay Medelberg, Jim Graeve and Eric Medelberg. Abbey is in 6th- grade at ASA. Eric Medelberg is a local chiropractor.

29th annual Workathon held

Volunteers gathered on a cool and sunny morning for the 29th annual St. Joseph Area Workathon held Oct 27.

Workathon volunteers raked and hauled away leaves, cleaned gardens and did other projects to help those who had requested help.
The workathon is a service-oriented fundraiser held annually. It gives students an opportunity to help with community needs and to raise funds for the All Saints Academy, formerly St. Joseph Lab School.
Several volunteers worked at the home of Jim and Mary Ann Graeve. They have been married for 55 years and have lived in their home for 49 years. The Graeves have been requesting help from workathon volunteers since the first year the workathon was held.
The Lance and Pam Nydeen and Eric and Kay Medelberg families volunteered at the Graeve home.
“It is a great time for the kids to meet the community,” Pam Nydeen said.
The Nydeens have three daughters Taylor, Reid and Jaedyn. Reid is a sixth-grader and Jaedyn a third-grader at ASA. Taylor is an eighth-grader at St. John’s Prep school.
The Medelbergs have a daughter, Abbey, who is a sixth-grader at ASA and is graduating this year.
The Graeves have a big yard, with lots of leaves, so St. John’s University students Phil Evans and Austin Pehrson also helped. Both are from the Twin Cities area and are education majors at the university.
Former workathon volunteer Sandy Pence made a special trip to the school to make a donation. Two students she knew received credit for her donation.
Sam Schneider, a sixth-grader at ASA, said he enjoys the workathon.
“I like helping other people – like older people,” Schneider said. Schneider’s mother, Joanne, teaches first grade at ASA.
Chairperson Denise Klein thanked everyone for all their efforts to make the workathon a success. Each group of volunteers brought a plate of muffins to their job site as a token of appreciation for letting them help them. The muffins were peanut-free muffins, since the school is a peanut-free environment, made by Mary Kay Pelkey, the school cook.
“Leaf Man,” also known as Karl Terhaar, ASA president, visited various job sites to encourage volunteers.
This year’s volunteers included 84 adults and 102 children who completed 40 jobs.

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City unveils new website

One of the first things residents will notice when they visit www.cityofstjoseph.com is its new look. With a bright blue background and scrolling pictures of local scenes, visitors will see familiar sites and faces on the city’s new website.

The city has had a website through GovOffice since 2002. This is the first time it’s updating its window to the community. City council members voted earlier this year to contract with CivicPlus to revamp the city’s site. The company also designed the City of St. Cloud’s website.
“I like it,” said Judy Weyrens, St. Joseph city administrator. “I’ve also heard others like the look.”
St. Joseph paid $17,000 for three years of service and software support through 2014. The city unveiled the site recently but more is coming. Weyrens said plans are to add a bill-pay option, a room-reservation tool, live streaming of city council meetings and a place for local advertising.
“This is just the shell,” she said. “We’ll be adding more.”
Speed and accessibility are what visitors will notice first while seeing some previous features and some new site additions. Some of the updated features of the site include an online document library for access to city documents, including old and current council meeting agendas, minutes and city ordinances and plat maps. Residents can also sign up for notifications via email or about upcoming events and city meetings.
A new website is something council member Renee Symanietz is happy to see come to fruition. She’s still getting used to the site herself but says the improvements will provide a more efficient way to keep residents informed.
“I really like the website,” Symanietz said. “I think it will be so much easier for people to navigate the web.”

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Artist and College of St. Benedict student Melissa Pinkowski touches up an area of a mural Nov. 13 on the back of the Minnesota Street Market in St. Joseph.

Local co-op gets a new mural

When Pat Benson left for the day from the Minnesota Street Market, she exited through the back door. When she got to the parking lot and saw the few cars parked there and glanced back at the food and art co-op’s building, she thought to herself, “No one can see we’re here.”

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Hennes hosts annual veterans’ tradition

Veterans Day, for Steve Hennes of Sartell, is the “most meaningful holiday of the year.”

It’s a time to gather with other veterans and to honor all those who served their country, including those who died and those who were wounded.

Every year, on Veterans Day, Hennes has breakfast with fellow veterans – usually about a dozen of them. Though the names and faces sometimes change year to year, the tradition remains the same – a good-hearted fellowship over breakfast at local restaurants.

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